PI Wars Review

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What an amazing weekend! Very early Saturday morning me and my mum headed for Cambridge to witness the wonders of Pi Wars – run by CamJam organisers Mike and Tim. After getting  a goodie bag and our Judge & Jam Maker stickers we went to explore the amazing robots that were competing  against each other.  There were around 30 competitors. I managed to interview five of them: Darth Cthulhu, The bomb squad, Optimus Pi, Triangular and Revenge of the Pyrobot  along with young robot fanatic  Crazy Squeak’s own robot that he brought along to test out on the challenges.  Crazy Squeak – it was really great to meet you at Pi Wars and look forward to reading your blogs too – https://crazysqueak.wordpress.com

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Link 1: Southend Raspberry Jam team

Link 2: The Bomb Squad – Yasmin Bey

Link 3: Optimus Pi – Leo White

Link 4: Triangula – Tom Oinn

Link 5: Revenge of PyroBot – Brian Corteil

Link 6: Crazy Squeak – young robot inventor

*Apologies for poor sound – as my recording equipment is very limited

There were seven different challenges: Obstacle course, Skittles, Pi Noon – the Robot vs Robot  duel, Straight-line speed test, Three-point turn, Line follower course and  Proximity alert.

It was a great privilege to judge  the Three Point Turn challenge with my mum and JarJarGeek. He is an amazing blogger and we had a lot of fun working together as a team – see his video of the event at http://youtu.be/tSuZecIVBPI   It was really interesting as the robots  have to do this challenge autonomously: some used sensors but others used measurements or adjusted the number of wheel rotations/angles etc.

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I aslo met two other very cool bloggers called Mat – Raspberry Pi IV Beginners  https://www.youtube.com/user/RaspberryPiBeginners and Raspberry Pi Guy  –  also Matt – http://www.theraspberrypiguy.com  They gave me some great advice and their recording equipment made me realise that if I want to get serious, as a blogger, poor mum will have to help me raise some funds!

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Link 7: Eben Upton talks about Raspberry Pi, PiZero & Pi Wars

One of the real highlights was interviewing Raspberry Pi’s founder and  CEO (Trading) Eben Upton who said that the Raspberry Pi is all about helping young people to explore coding. He also talked about the £4 Pi Zero and enjoying Pi Wars –  see video link above. In fact there were so many cool people around. I even got to speak to the other CEO of Raspberry Pi, Philip Colligan, who said that he’d really enjoyed reading my blog and that it was ‘amazing’. Wow – that has made me very happy and it does help me to keep going – even when it gets so busy with other stuff!

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My favourite robot was the Revenge of PyroBot- it was so cool – with creator, Brain, putting his old robot on top of it. He said it had got trashed last year and this year he’s out for revenge – bigger and better than ever. It was true – he won  about 6 prizes.

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We are having a Robot hack next week at our South London Raspberry Jam, so coming to Pi Wars was really inspiring and we got lots of encouragement from the community, at the event. Thank you to RyanTeck, Pimoroni, Ragworm, and  RapidOnline  for helping us out. I am also grateful to PiBorg, Ryan Teck (SnowPi) and Mearm for agreeing to send me products to review on this blog.

So this week, we have a CamJam Robot kit that I’m going to be building and mum’s going to ask the IT department at work to do a 3D print of the chassis – see Daniel Ball’s  thingiverse.com  website.  We’ll use it as an example for the young coders at our event to build, code and compete in our very own mini Pi Wars.

Last thing! I want to read something awesome over christmas – can you recommend an iconic or essential piece of writing for a new coder and future designer/builder of robots and the gadgets (Internet of Things) – bearing in mind I’ve just turned 10?  It can be anything – article, fiction, non-fiction or comic. Leave your suggestion in the comments, please?

Apologies for missed blogs but next Sunday tune in for a review our  South London Raspberry Jam and see how we do with our own mini Pi Wars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “PI Wars Review

  1. Great to hear your thoughts on Pi Wars. If it’s okay, I’ll add your videos and this blog to the round-up I’m doing. 🙂
    You can’t go wrong with the original Transformers comics by the way 🙂

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    1. Thank you – Mike. It was such an honour for me and Femi to be part of Pi Wars and we really loved our bit of judging with Jarle. All those amazing robots (and people too) – really inspiring! We’d love you to include our stuff with your round up. Original Transformers comics – now on Xmas shopping list!

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  2. Hi Femo! Liz from Raspberry Pi here: I wonder if you’d allow us to use this blog post on the official Raspberry Pi blog? (You’d get full credit and a link back, of course!) We were planning on writing about the Pi Wars experience ourselves, but we thought this post was so great that it should get a wider audience! Drop me an email: liz (at) raspberrypi.org. 🙂

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    1. Yes – I am seriously stumped for words. Just to let you know that I had birthday last Friday so I’m now 10. Wow, thank you very much. Oh, do you recommend a book to read?

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  3. Femi,
    Thank you so much for your Pi Wars Review. I was sadly unable to attend the event but your review with in-depth interviews with many of the contestants, almost made me feel I was there. There are some very sophisticated robots there so I am going to up my game. Well done to all the participants and particularly to you, now I must down to preparing a team for next year.

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  4. Hey Femi,

    Great to meet you the other day, thanks for including Triangula in your review 🙂 Hope to see you competing at the next one maybe? If you’ve ever got any questions about coding or making stuff I’d be happy to help any time.

    Tom

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  5. Hi Femi,

    If you are going to the Raspberry Pi birthday party, look me up for a go of Revenge, plus have a go of Micro Pi Noon.

    Brian Corteil

    Aka

    @CannonFodder

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